Great Falls City Leaders Present ‘State of the City’

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GREAT FALLS — On Monday afternoon, a “state of the city” meeting was held at the Civic Center in Great Falls.

Each head of Great Falls’ 11 departments came together to give presentations on the current status of their respective areas.

Each department took 15 minutes to explain their biggest accomplishments in 2021, their biggest challenges and their goals for 2022.

Many noted that their plans involved federal ARPA/CARES funding.

This meeting does not establish formal policy; rather, it is to allow commissioners to have an idea of ​​what is to come in the coming fiscal year.

Opening – Greg Doyon, City Manager
Legal Department – Jeff Hindoien
Human Resources – Gaye McInerney
Deputy City Manager – Chuck Anderson
Finance Department – Melissa Kinzler
Library – Susie McIntyre
Community Planning and Development – Craig Raymond
Housing Authority – Greg Sukut
Public Works Department – Paul Skubinna
Parks and Recreation – Steve Herrig
Police Department – Jeff Newton
Fire Department – Jeremy Jones

City Attorney’s Office
Achievements

  • An adaptation of the loss of four staff members
  • Participated in a Great Falls Crime Task Force to assist the community and identify and resolve the many crime and law enforcement issues
  • Review and modification of internal processes to improve operational efficiency

Challenges

  • And undersized criminal division staff
  • Great Falls currently has the fewest prosecutors by number of citations written in municipal court

Success

  • Despite the shortage of staff, the morale and quality of service are exceptional.

Hope for the future

  • The department has not been able to establish a stable structure to deal with and advance code enforcement cases, and they hope to carry out the community planning and development department.

Human ressources
Achievements

  • Being able to maintain the standards they had set

Challenges

  • Staff shortages and Covid protocols

Success

  • Overcome the challenges they have faced and continue to provide effective services such as payroll Hope for the Future
  • Pursue and improve their plan which is outlined to the commission

Administration Department
Achievements

  • the animal shelter continued to implement the Help Us Grow donation program to fund shelter improvements
  • The City Clerk was able to inventory over 500 large ledgers/boxes to determine the appropriate status
  • Communication was able to co-manage with IT for an overhaul of the involvement and promotion of the city’s website
  • Adapting to the fluid impacts of the Covid pandemic at events and helping others feel safe at Civic Center facilities
  • An IT department implemented multi-factor authorization for city employees and network users

Challenges

  • lack of space to provide ideal living conditions to care for and administer animals entering the shelter
  • City clerk struggled to deliver consistent A/V capabilities to move virtual meetings forward
  • Adapt to changing security threats without a security expert on staff

Success

  • Same as Achievements

Hope for the future

  • Continue to work on the animal shelter and create programs and services that will generate income
  • City clerk hopes to digitize more than 1,400 permanent office records
  • Develop a strategic city-wide communications and engagement development plan
  • Complete and finalize an enterprise software migration to stabilize finance and HR functions planning

Financial department
Achievements

  • How was insuring $10 million in park maintenance district bonds

Challenges

  • Partial completion of the conversion of financial and utility software from Tyler New World to Tyler Munis
  • Positions added/redesigned and has new staff

Success

  • New positions and new staff

Hope for the future

  • complete software conversion
  • Train new staff and train departments on new software

Great Falls Library
Achievements

  • roof repair
  • A redesigned website
  • Master plan and financing contract

Challenges

Success

  • Open more hours and offering more services than ever before in Montana

Hope for the future

  • complete inventory/security system transition
  • Upgrade new internet connection
  • A realization of the new library master plan

Community planning and development
Achievements

  • substantial progress towards a fully electronic system
  • Renovation of the facade in progress
  • Earth Item Codes Updated

Challenges

  • volume of code complaints
  • Lack of office space for current needs and growth

Success

  • Further improvement of internal coordination and efficiency of external authorizations

Hope for the future

  • reinstate parking program/funding project

Great Falls Housing Authority
Achievements

  • improve scores in all categories within the HUD scoring mythology

Challenges

  • Housing instability due to drug use and mental health

Success

  • New Board of Commissioners
  • Increased/Improved Communication Between Board and GFHA Staff

Hope for the future

  • full Austin Hall elevator upgrade
  • Complete six Plex upgrades
  • Become fully staffed

Public works
Achievements

  • change of direction
  • Successful energy security project

Challenges

  • Employee recruitment and retention
  • Supply chain materials for projects
  • Framework and resources for managing linear projects and infrastructure

Success

Hope for the future

  • Financially position public works to know whether inflation
  • Plan for success in the future
  • Support responsible development ensure quality infrastructure

Department of Parks and Recreation
Achievements

  • Park neighborhood project
  • Covid positivity
  • Major capital improvements that improve the quality of life of the local community

Challenges

Success

Hope for the future

  • keep enjoying great falls

Great Falls Police Department
Achievements

  • New Chief of Police
  • Received higher cops in grant resulting in three new officers
  • Received several grants

Challenges

  • staffing levels
  • Increased costs not supported by the budget that have persisted for years

Success

  • attitudes and work ethic remain high

Hope for the future

  • recruit hire and retain police officers
  • Convert old documents to digital format and free up space for additional evidence

Great Falls Fire Rescue
Achievements

  • Implementation and incorporation of GFFR mission vision and core values
  • Restructured the Great Falls Fire Rescue organization to provide focus and oversight in the areas of emergency response and preparedness
  • Strengthen life safety and fire prevention in the community by enacting ordinances and strengthening fire code compliance

Challenges

Success

Hope for the future

  • response capabilities
  • Community risk reductions
  • Funding opportunities
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